My name’s Bodhipaksa, and I’m a Buddhist practitioner, teacher, and author. From time to time on my personal blog I’m write something about a quote I’d seen floating around, often on Facebook or Twitter, that was attributed to the Buddha. As someone who had been studying the Buddha’s teachings for three decades I’d instantly recognize that the language, the idiom, and sometimes the messages were completely wrong for something from the Buddhist canon. And so I’d do a bit of investigation, often finding the real source of the quote.
I began to build up a collection of these Fake Buddha Quotes, and eventually hived them off to form their own blog: fakebuddhaquotes.com, naturally.
Then people would ask me to post some genuine quotes, and I started to do that as well.* Sometimes I’d even make up little graphics for the quotes, so that we could get a greater number of genuine quotations in circulation. But the trouble is that encouraging people to pass around genuine Buddha quotes from a site called Fake Buddha Quotes is problematic! There’s a certain seed of doubt planted, when someone doesn’t know what Fake Buddha Quotes is about. (Evidently some people think it’s a site where I make up quotes and attribute them to the Buddha).
Anyway, there was a need for a Real Buddha Quotes site, and here it is. Ever quote here has been verified as coming from the Buddhist canon. Feel free to pass them around.
* The concept of a genuine quote from the Buddha is not straightforward. The Buddha never wrote anything down, and his teachings were passed on only orally for several hundred years. Lots of things happened in those intervening centuries, including a certain amount of rewriting, recombining, editing, and political manipulation of the teachings. So we can never be sure that anything in the Buddhist canon was ever said by the Buddha. But for the sake of simplicity we’ll refer to quotes from the canon as “real Buddha quotes.”